1. Book Reviews – 2020

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Rating Scale:

  1. *****  Fantastic! You’ve gotta read this one!
  2. ****  Great. Well worth a look
  3. ***   OK. You may enjoy it.
  4. **    Not so great. Either dull, badly written, or just plain awful. Not recommended
  5. *     Unspeakably bad. Couldn’t finish it


“The Stand” by Stephen King

Rating:  ****1/2

Genre: Fiction: Supernatural Thriller/Horror

Read: January 2020  

When a man-made virus is accidentally released to the general public, over 90% of the world’s population dies. The remaining members of the human race are subject to a bizarre shared dreams involving either a kind elderly African-American woman, or a strange and menacing dark man. The survivors follow their instincts and side with the charismatic but evil Randall Flagg in Las Vegas, or the humanist Mother Abigail in Boulder. Eventually to good citizens need to take a stand against the forces of evil.

It’s been years since I first read this book. The story is still as gripping and involving as it always was. In retrospect it isn’t as well written as some of his later books, but well worth the time it takes to read. (And at over 2000 pages it takes time).

“She Lover of Death” by Boris Akunin

Rating:  ****

Genre: Fiction: Mystery

Read: January 2020  

This was a bit of a random selection on my part, having never read any others author’s other works, and therefor none of the others in the Fandorin mysteries series. I am pleased to say that I rather enjoyed the twisted tale of the “Lovers of Death” poetry reading and suicide society, and the lives of the various players involved. Akunin has a rather odd style writing, but this may be due to the translation of the original work. Well worth a look, especially for those with an interested in Russian society.

“Japan – Lonely Planet” by Rebecca Milner, et al

Rating:  ****

Genre: Non-Fiction: Travel

Read: January 2020  

Handy and comprehensive guide to travelling around Japan. Excellent information on transport options, tourist hot spots and seasonal information. Comes with a pull out map and Narita airport card . My only criticisms – the print is very small and the book if very chunky (not the best option for the luggage. Great pre-holiday reading.

“Quentin Tarantino: The Iconic Filmmaker and his works” by Ian Nathan

Rating:  ****

Genre: Non-Fiction: Media 

Read: January 2020  

Nathan has put together a comprehensive review of Tarantino’s life so far, career and artistic endeavours. This wonderfully presented coffee table book is full of brilliant images, interesting facts and many (perhaps a little excessive) observations about the writing and filming processes of pieces such as Reservoir Dogs, True, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards et al. Worth a look for both fans of Tarantino and the Hollywood movie scene in general.


Previous Years Book Reviews: Archives

2019: 2019 Book Reviews 


2017: 2017 Book Reviews by Sarah Jackson

2016: 2016-book-reviews

2015: 2015 Book reviews download